Bitcoin was the world’s first cryptocurrency, and it remains the biggest. The original whitepaper by the mysterious founder Satoshi Nakamoto said “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”
Privacy, anonymity, and trust are three concepts that are almost synonymous with cryptocurrency. Bitcoin promised a golden future of decentralized finance without the need to go through the red tape, fees, and scrutiny of a third party like a bank. Yet many privacy advocates come across an early stumbling block: ID. Is it possible to buy Bitcoin without ID?
Bitcoin Is Not Anonymous
It seems like a misnomer; the digital money dreamed up by the cyberpunks asks you for a Government-issued ID before you can open a wallet or get your first coin. Of course, Bitcoin’s heart is the right place. To buy Bitcoin – or nearly any cryptocurrency, stock, or financial instrument – you generally need to verify your identity. The reason is to prevent fraud and protect your assets by proving that the credit card you are using is your own. Exchanges and cryptocurrency platforms are under increasing pressure to adhere to Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) regulations. In other words, customers need to prove who they are.
Another important thing to bear in mind that Bitcoin is not anonymous. It is pseudonymous. This means that you and your account are identifiable by your unique address, a type of pseudonym (like an author writing under a different name.) Each transaction is recorded on the blockchain, which is a public ledger holding all the financial history.
You may be asked to provide a photographic ID such as a passport or driving license. You will likely have to upload a selfie with your ID and a piece of paper stating the date and your email address. This may feel more like a demand for ransom than a cryptocurrency purpose, but it is simply to ensure you are the person on your ID.
You may also be asked for your date of birth, residential address, and email address. Why all the snooping? Sure, there are justified reasons for any cryptocurrency platform needing to verify the identities of its users. Nonetheless, the need for online privacy is a growing concern, and not just for illicit reasons, as many claim. Some individuals want to keep their online purchases anonymous or prefer that a third party does not know about their crypto assets. Others may simply not have the requisite ID yet need Bitcoin. Is it not precisely this demographic for which cryptocurrency platforms claim to provide? Finally, the verification process is long-winded and can take up to three business days to go through. Some of us are simply too impatient to get our hands on those digital coins. This begs the question, can you get Bitcoins without ID?
Can You Buy Bitcoin Anonymously?
The short answer is yes. Fortunately for privacy campaigners and those of us who just lost our wallets who are desperately looking up “buy bitcoin no ID,” there are ways to get around the verification process. If you want to buy Bitcoin with fiat currency (dollars, euros, pounds, etc.), then your options may differ depending on:
- Payment methods
- Geographical location
- Need for financial privacy
There are a number of different ways to buy cryptocurrency without a photo ID, including using a prepaid card, finding an exchange that does not require verification, or using a Bitcoin ATM. We’ll talk you through the best options:
You may find you have a Bitcoin ATM near you. Many countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and even Saudi Arabia, have Bitcoin ATMs. These operate just like a regular cash machine, except that instead of spitting out a bunch of bills, you insert your credit or debit card, and the Bitcoin you buy is transferred straight to your wallet. By “wallet,” we don’t mean the leather pouch in your pocket, but the online (or offline) digital account that you use to store and access your cryptocurrency. This sounds easy, and it is – but be prepared to pay the price. Most Bitcoin ATMs will charge a commission fee of 5-10%.
Most Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency exchanges will require a photo ID to set up an account – but not all of them. Certain exchanges, including our own, TradeOr, will let you buy Bitcoin without ID. Sometimes you will need to exchange another altcoin for Bitcoin; others will let you use another payment method. A quick Google of “buy bitcoin with credit card no verification” will bring up lists of exchanges that don’t require ID.
If you want to buy Bitcoin with fiat currency, most crypto sites will need a photo ID. Without ID or other cryptocurrency tokens to trade, the list of exchanges is growing smaller by the day. You may also find that you have a lower withdrawal limit without ID. Nonetheless, there are options out there (especially on decentralized exchanges), and this is a relatively straightforward and low-cost way to get Bitcoin anonymously.
An obvious way to skip the verification step is to buy Bitcoin from another user. There are many peer-to-peer (P2P) platforms where you can negotiate a deal with a seller to buy Bitcoin. After you have settled on a price, you could either meet in person and exchange cash for Bitcoin or find a payment method that works. Cutting out the middleman is effective, but the privacy price you pay depends on your negotiation skills!
You could also load a prepaid card with cash and use this online to buy Bitcoin. Gift cards offered by Visa, Amex, and Mastercard, have this option. You may struggle to find trading platforms or exchanges that will let you pay with a prepaid card. This will not be the cheapest option; some sites will charge high fees for prepaid cards.
Buying Bitcoin Without ID
The old fear that cryptocurrency was the fuel of cybercrime and illicit activity is beginning to erode. Of course, criminals buying guns, drugs, or paying for other illegal services online would want to hide their tracks. In this case, the more extreme privacy coins like Monero or Dash would be the coin of choice. However, many individuals want to protect their privacy online, and the reason need not always be suspicious. The cryptocurrency world is rife with online scams and cyberattacks, and the last thing you want is your details (including your driver’s license or passport) being leaked online. If you are sitting on a Bitcoin goldmine, you may be looking for anonymity to protect your assets. Perhaps you simply do not have an ID. There is also a growing community that doesn’t see why they should have to hand over their data and private information to access financial services.
Once you have your Bitcoin – or another altcoin – you may want to keep it moving. The cryptocurrency market is highly volatile, and maintaining a finger on the pulse will help you know when to buy and sell your Bitcoin. While some investors will choose to buy Bitcoin for the long-term, others may want to trade BTC and speculate on the frequent price movements. Specific trading platforms will offer tools to help you analyze the markets and monitor your trades.
Here at TradeOr, we arm our clients with a suite of trading tools, including charting software TradingView and ChartIQ. These are two of the best programmes in the industry. They are packed with powerful features that give you technical insight into market patterns to predict your next profit. We offer trading in cryptocurrency pairs, forex, stocks, and commodities, and TradeOr clients have leverage of up to 500:1. Beginner traders have access to demo accounts, and all our customers benefit from our support team, which is at your side 24/7.
Are You Ready?
When it comes to buying Bitcoin anonymously, the bottom line is yes, it possible, but be prepared to pay the price for your privacy. The advantages of getting cryptocurrency without ID are that you skip the time-consuming verification process and protect your financial information. Finding the right platform to buy Bitcoins without ID can be costly, however, both in terms of time and extra fees. Until you provide ID, you may be limited in how much you can withdraw or trade. As you can see above, though, there are plenty of options. Remember that the growing cryptocurrency community is a marketplace of like-minded peers with whom to confer, trade, and exchange!